You’ll find plenty of Jewish artists at this summer’s fairs.
From the colorful glass Judaica projects of Bobby Harr to the colorful abstract oil paintings of Eva Antebi-Lerman, artistic creativity of all kinds will be filling the displays at warm-weather fairs returning to Detroit and surrounding areas.
While Harr’s projects will be seen at three of the fairs (Art of Fire in Royal Oak, Art in the Park in Plymouth and Orchard Lake Fine Art Show in West Bloomfield) among those listed below, Antebi-Lerman’s works will be featured as part of the Ann Arbor Art Fair.
“I do fused glass, and my work has been shown in the Jewish Museum in New York and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles,” said Harr, based in Arizona and Chicago so he conveniently can travel with his work. “Right now, I only do art shows.”
Harr will offer some 20 different kinds of mezuzahs, a selection of menorahs, wall pieces showing iconic expressions of Jewish identity and what he has labeled a “nosh plate.”
“I also do contemporary abstract wall pieces that emphasize the color,” said Harr, whose original career had been in retail before he felt comfortable in his place and time financially to pursue art full time. “Everything I do is on black glass. The way I do the colors, it screams on the black, and that’s the way the color comes out the best.”
Inspired by watching a television program about famed artist Dale Chihuly, he was essentially self-taught by studying books and a videotape and following through with buying a kiln and glass. Mezuzahs became his first projects because they resonated with his Jewish background and were small enough to fit into his first kiln.
“I’m just having a blast traveling,” said Harr, who sold to galleries before he found a preference for art fairs about 12 years ago. “When I do the shows on the weekends, I’m onstage.”
Antebi-Lerman, in her first year on a limited fair circuit, is moving along a path of two simultaneous careers.
Besides devoting time to painting and showing her work at the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair as well as outside the state, she is studying toward a doctoral degree in clinical psychology at Ohio University.
“I don’t feel the need to choose one career path when life is long and you can do many things,” she said.
Growing up in the Beverly Hills suburb of Detroit, she is now based in Ohio, near the university she attends in Athens County. After trying various kinds of art at the encouragement of her mom (Elsa Antebi), an amateur artist, Antebi-Lerman took classes at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.
“My paintings have been about color and form, and there’s a continuous body of work,” she said. “I’m really moving in the direction of painting in different layers, so you look at a piece and there’s all of this depth, almost [transporting viewers into] a new space.
“My painting inspiration can go one of two ways. Sometimes, I just kind of close my eyes for a moment and try to come up with what feels like I’m feeling at that moment. Sometimes, it’s much more concrete. I see something that inspires me, like a piece of pottery or a really cool rock or tree, and I’ll pull color or composition or element of that.”
After going through phases of ceramics, glassblowing and metal work, Antebi-Lerman settled into painting some 10 years ago. She started with acrylics and moved into oils. She began with representational subjects, such as animals and trees, and went on to abstractions, using brushes and scrapers.
“It’s really up to the viewer’s interpretations of what’s on the page,” said Antebi-Lerman, who had her bat mitzvah at Congregation Beth Ahm. “It’s an emotional space where someone can go up to a piece, look at it and respond from experiences and [what’s inside].
“I don’t think I gain insight into personalities when people tell me what they see in my abstractions. Instead, I get to experience my own artwork through their eyes.”
Popular fairs listed are arranged by date. Before heading out, visitors are advised to check websites for insight into additional activities — such as demonstrations, musical entertainment, carnival rides and food service — as well as updates that may change the particulars.
Summer Arts Fairs
May 28-30: Kensington Metropark Art Fair. kensingtonartfair.com.
June 4-5: Palmer Park Art Fair, near Woodward and Seven Mile in Detroit. palmerparkartfair.com.
June 4-5: Art on the Grand, downtown Farmington. artonthegrand.com.
June 11: Berkley Art Bash, 12 Mile in downtown Berkley. berkleyartbash.com.
June 11-12: Art of Fire, Washington and Fifth, Royal Oak. artoffirero.com.
June 11-12: Flint Art Fair, grounds of the Flint Institute of Arts. flintartfair.org.
June 16-18: Canton Liberty Fest, Heritage Park. cantonlibertyfest.com.
June 17-19: Arts and Acts, downtown Northville. northvillearthouse.org.
June 24-26: Trenton Summer Festival, downtown Trenton. trentonmi.org.
July 8-10: Plymouth Art in the Park, downtown Plymouth. artinthepark.com.
July 9-10: Royal Oak Outdoor Art Fair, 13 and Woodward. royaloakarts.com.
July 13-16: Wyandotte Street Art Fair, downtown Wyandotte. wyandotte.net.
July 14-16: Farmington Founders Festival, downtown Farmington. foundersfestival.com
July 21-23: Ann Arbor Art Fair, various locations. theannarborartfair.com.
July 28-30: Sterlingfest, City Center Campus, Sterling Heights. sterling-heights.net.
July 30-31: Orchard Lake Fine Art Show, 6900 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield. hotworks.org.
July 30-31: Fine Art at the Village, 220 N. Adams Rd., Rochester Hills. fineartatthevillage.com.
Aug. 5-6: Brighton Art & Music Festival, downtown Brighton. brightoncoc.org. (events, signature events).
Aug.5-6: Allen Park Street Fair, Allen Road between Southfield and Roosevelt. allenparkstreetfair.org.
Aug. 6-7: Belle Isle Art Fair, near Scott Fountain. belleisleartfair.com.
Aug. 12-14: Milford Memories Summer Festival, downtown Milford. milfordmemories.com.
Aug. 13-14: Shelby Township Art Fair, River Bends Park. shelbyartfair.org.
Aug. 20-Oct. 2 (Weekends and Labor Day): Michigan Renaissance Festival, Holly. michrenfest.com.
Sept. 1-5: Michigan State Fair, Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi. michiganstatefairllc.com.
Sept. 2-5: Arts, Beats & Eats, downtown Royal Oak. artsbeatseats.com.
Sept. 5: Art in the Village, Franklin. ((248) 514-9097.
Sept. 9-11: Art & Apples Festival, Rochester Municipal Park. pccart.org.
Sept. 17-18: Common Ground Birmingham Street Art Fair, streets around Shain Park. theguild.org.
Sept. 23-25: Funky Ferndale Art Fair, Nine Mile at Woodward. funkyferndaleartfair.com.